Chamber of Commerce's Bob Burdon.....unburdens himself ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chamber of Commerce's Bob Burdon.....unburdens himself

Our local chamber of commerce director Bob Burdon's predictable columns in the local paper usually tell us that government should stay out of the marketplace. The pro-business organization has had a long-term love affair with the unbridled free market and has fought nearly every environmental protection or land preservation program since the private property idea was hatched. Burdon's column in today's local newspaper about our @#!!+&!! economic situation is titled "Faced with crisis, we must work together to promote mutual interest".




Who does he mean by "we" and what are these mutual interests that "we" have? Part apology and part finger-wagging in the mirror, Burdon's piece seems to be one of these "Now that the shoes on the other foot, or now that the @$## has hit the fans etc., etc ya da ya da ya da...."

Burdon refers to the Gordon Gekko character (not the insurance lizard) in a movie called "Greed" and suddenly he through some kind of epiphany realizes that maybe greed is not so good after all. He says, "Twenty-eight years ago, we bought into a vision that a free and unregulated market would solve all of our problems. That vision laid the foundation for the decisions and actions that have led us to the economic crisis we now confront. The vision of a free and unregulated market as the answer to financial security is now questionable, if not completely invalidated."
Let's see......28 years ago....2008 minus 28, carry the one, subtract pi or a piece thereof and bingo!--we get....1980! Would he be referring to the beginning of the Reagan Revolution? The conservative mandate? Together we can now pinpoint the beginning of the long, slow decline of American power and relevance as many of us (not we) worshiped the banking god of more and more and more. Of course, I think the Reagan Republican Era just sped it up. I prefer to go back to the Gulf of Tonkin (okay that was a Democrat) and then it really picked up under the Republican Nixon who just about wiped out any faith in elected officials and government (uplifting the "liberal" media at the same time) and continued but for four years of Carter and then the eight successful years of Clinton that shrunk the deficit and uplifted all boats. Yeah, those Republicans Burdon probably supported did a doozie on us!

Okay, Bob, we're with you so far, but what do you mean by "we"? WE? We bought into it? Excuse me but I never voted for Reagan or for that Republican contract ON America that soon followed. But I knew that 28 years ago. WE knew that but you did not. I guess it only took you 28 years to learn that maybe some regulation and the visible hand of government is a good thing.

He continues, actually violating the standard pro-business line saying that that we do need rules and regulation for "Without such rules, the conduct of commerce will be chaotic, arbitrary and potentially abusive." Potentially abusive? Potentially abusive? That's like saying putting a priest in a tent with five adolescent choirboys might be potentially abusive, er I mean, controversial.

Mr. Burdon continues by saying, "The self-absorbed individualism that has taken hold of our culture over the past 28 years, which accepts only winners and losers as the outcome of any personal or business transaction, must be replaced by an environment that rewards the actions of working together to promote mutual financial interest."



Wow. Does he mean that same self-absorbed individualism that many of us, yes "us" have fought for years? But why stop there Bob? Why stop with mutual FINANCIAL interest? What about our mutual global and local environmental interest? What about eliminating poverty? What about closing the gaping chasm between the have-way-too-muchers and the have-way-too-littlers? What about really sharing the pieces of the pie, or is this going too far? After all, if you have finally figured that greed is bad, does that mean that you now support its opposite-generosity? Does that mean that the rich should pay more taxes? When the Chesapeake Bay comes lapping at your door and your big gas guzzler car needs $10 per gallon gasoline, and you choke on our air, will you then say you were also wrong about all the terrible things you have written about investing in public transportation, about preserving our natural resources, about widenging roads, about slowing and controlling over development?

Consider this: When Tom Brokaw asked the candidates if health care was a right, a privilege or a responsibility, McCain said it was a responsibility (which many of us think is another word for a privilege) Obama made it clear that in a country as wealthy as the US it should be a right. I say right on. There is more than enough to go around yet millions upon millions have no health care. Just chew that one example for a while and see how it related to Burdon's apology. And then ask him if the chamber or if he agrees with McCain or Obama. Privilege? Right? Do we have enough to share? Is there a relationship between this culture of greed and this culture of tens of millions without health care? D'ya think?

But where was Mr. Burdon over these last decades when our middle class was falling apart, as we split into rich and poor and the rich got richer while the poor got poorer and the rich got tax cuts while the poor got programs cut? Well, glory be. Now he has seen the light. And suddenly he wants us all to get along and play nice in the sandbox. Perhaps that is because the value of the sand has dropped so fast and he realizes he may be in the bad corner of the box....with a lot of others looking at him from the other three corners..and they're not happy.

Some may say I am being unfair and unkind by picking on Mr. Burdon. He's just the local whipping boy in this revolutionary role reversal that's taking place. Let's just say that's the rich man's burden he'll have to live with as he played a professional role as the local cheerleader for this nightmarish vision of "self-absorbed individualism" into which he bought....or was bought.

Burdon's Burden

Please send comments, subscribe,share with your friends,and support our sponsors. Join us at Ahh Coffee almost every Thursday from 8-9 am.


blogger templates | Make Money Online